What Facebook Taught Me About Having Better Relationships

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When I first joined Facebook I got friended by someone from high school. We were close back then so I thought it might be cool to reconnect.

I was wrong.

The more they commented on my statuses and posted on my wall the more negative it seemed to be. Sometimes they would complain about how much harder they had it or how not funny something I tried to make funny wasn’t, or how what I do for a living didn’t seem very meaningful to them. It didn’t matter what I posted there was always a negative comment from them waiting for me.

Then one day I went to get my haircut and the barber and I were talking about this problem that we were both having on Facebook. How people seem to be bolder and ruder online because there’s less consequences and more freedom and how it didn’t seem right to treat someone like that online that you would never do in person.

Then they told me how they were dealing with it and it made so much sense to me.

My barber simply unfriended them.

To be honest that made a lot of sense; but I felt doing something like that seemed really rude.

They brought up that the person’s already being rude and if someone’s being rude to you in “analog life” you would stop hanging out with them; or if you have to work together you would minimize the time you spend with them as much as possible.

So that’s what I did. I went home and unfriended them. At first I felt a little weird about it, but I kept thinking about our conversation and it just made sense.

So I started doing that to all my online connections. If someone kept being rude or a jerk to me I just ended the relationship. I didn’t send them a “Dear John” letter or anything weird like that. I just stop spending time with them online.

I think this same principle that works on social media works in real life too.

If someone’s being rude or unkind or having a negative impact on you then you should stop hanging out with them. Statistics tell us that in five years we’ll become like the people we hang around. Not just in person, but online too.

So what you’ve got to ask yourself is, “Do I want to be like them?” You want to surround yourself with as many people as you can say yes to this question and edit out the people who you would say no to this question as possible.

It’s not always easy, but you’ll be a happier and healthier person if you do.

What’s a bad experience you’ve had with someone online? How did you handle it?

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